Amanda Edgcombe is London born and grew up amidst the patterns and changing shape of the city which have inspired so many of her ideas in print, glass and on canvas. Early in her career, diverse art movements such as De Stijl, Abstract Expressionism and Geometric Abstraction had a strong impact on her way of seeing art amidst a cumulative experience of 1970’s London with its trends in fashion and interiors and the changing urban landscape. However, it was a course Edgcombe took as a teenage at Putney Art School with Eric Larmont which introduced her to expressive ways to draw and paint and the vast possibilities of mark making.
Following this, a BA in Painting and MA in print at the Slade lead to a fellowship in Architectural Glass at Central Saint Martins. As a multidisciplinary artist, Edgcombe has worked for architects and designers, including as an image researcher for international architects, Eric Kuhne. She has project managed glass installations, interior and landscape designs and styled events with a wide range of international clients. Her design practice allowed her to develop a more theoretical relationship between the architectural and painterly dialogues and many of the paintings and prints started in 2008 have developed as direct references to previous commissions and experience with architectural renovations. Often derived from literal or observed subjects, drawn, photographed or from memory, they are constructed initially using collage and mark making as an immediate response to place and materials.
Printmaking provides a tangible and vivid way for Edgcombe to examine ideas as well to take concepts back to the studio. Colour and marks made through print can then be explored through paint and the layering of new forms. Under the tutorship of Bartolomeu de Santos and Oona Grimes on the Slade printmaking course the layering of colour with textural aquatint, spit bite and the antipathy of grease and water *became part of Edgcombe’s personal mark making narrative. Viscosity etching, a technique tested at the Slade allowed the layering of multiple colours, so that vibrant and graphically decisive prints with shaded overlays could combine hard and soft patterns. The prints have become powerful works in their own right with the ability to create images hard found with paint, using the whiteness of the paper and the transparency of ink.
Edgcombe’s work has been widely shown and collected. Since 2008 when she and her family relocated to Suffolk Edgcombe has focussed on her Fine Art practice whilst retaining her strong interest in design and continuing this professional practice.
Tassie Russell is Suffolk born and bred and inherited a love of nature and architecture from her parents, in particular her father Clifford, who was a fine draughtsman and watercolourist and significant local architect. She studied painting at the University of Kingston, Cultural History at the RCA and Postgraduate painting at the Slade. As a mature student she studied post graduate Printmaking at Camberwell School of Art.
Russell’s work: painting, printing, and photography is informed by a thoughtful and rare ability to handle her materials, wide-ranging cultural references, and a willingness to push herself with fresh ideas and experimentation. Best known for her large canvases with subdued colour and nuanced use of geometric form, this period of lockdown has allowed her to test out smaller works with brighter colour and more organic forms.
Reflecting her interest in abstract painters like Richard Diebenkorn and Sean Scully and in pinhole photography with its nearly infinite depth of field, Russell has pushed herself to look for new solutions to her constant search for compelling constructs of architectural space. The inspiration may be a building or a landscape, but the solution is always achieved by a lengthy reworking time in the studio. These are hard won images from a mature and subtle artist of uncommon ability.
Russell’s work has been widely shown and is held in a number of private and public collections, including Clifford Chance where she was awarded the Clifford Chance Purchase Prize by the late Sir Terry Frost. She has taught in London, Suffolk, and Australia and now lives in Snape.
Monica Petzal June 2021